After sterling week, confidence diminished

ESPN personality Mike Greenberg discusses the energy on Northwestern's campus a day before the Ohio State game.

Man it felt nice to be Nostradamus last Saturday. I went 7-1 against the spread, the one being a half-point loss by Wisconsin. And I wrote of USC's Lane Kiffin: "Count your days."

My advice this week: "Count your dollars."

And don't even think about throwing them on these picks:

Illinois (plus 8 1/2) at Nebraska: The only number that's appealing is the over-under of 60 1/2. Can either defense keep the opposition in the ballpark? I doubt it. Illinois.

Michigan State (plus 1) at Iowa: One team has momentum, a quarterback with wheels and a coach who has squelched the buyout talk. See where I'm headed here? Iowa.

Minnesota (plus 18 1/2) at Michigan: Seems like too big a number considering Minnesota strives to be a hog-the-clock team and Michigan's Devin Gardner could be gun-shy after firing five interceptions in his last two games. Come to think of it, Michigan fans probably hope he's gun-shy. Minnesota.

Penn State (minus 3 1/2) at Indiana: Tough to make a case for the Hoosiers, who are 0-16 against Penn State since 1993. Could this Indiana team, the one that lost to Navy and got smashed by Missouri, end that streak? I doubt it. Penn State.

Ohio State (minus 6 1/2) at Northwestern: I predicted the line would be Ohio State by 91/2, but it opened at 4 and keeps rising. At this number, mark me down for Northwestern and a sincere hope for a wildly entertaining game. Northwestern.

Best bet: Iowa.

Last week: 7-1. Season: 27-26.

Best bets: 3-2.

CHICAGO

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